I have had a fabulous week! On Monday and Tuesday Claudia and I were making cookies as easily as breathing. We fell into a seamless rhythm and every batch we turned out was perfect! Whenever one of us placed a tray of cookies into the oven we called out, “Fire in the hole!” just for kicks of course, and to warn everyone else that there was mad bakers at work and to approach with caution, actually it’s probably better not to approach at all. Because the industrial oven is so close to the stove when Claudia calls out “Fire in the hole,” she adds a little safety tip as well, “Watch your elbow!” But even with the warning of the hot oven door swinging out to bite my elbow as I meticulously stir the melting butter I still get burned. Oh well, here’s one for the battle scars.
By Tuesday we had completely run out of packaging for the cookies and were forced to stop baking until we received more packaging. To tell you the truth it was a relief to hang up the cookie sheets for a while. We were shuttled back to the chocolate end of the kitchen and rolled creams and enrobed chips for the rest of the week. It was a pleasant change of scenery and a joyous reunion as we had the chance to work with the other women in the factory. We had our heads buried in the oven for so long we were starting to forget what our co-workers looked like.
After a noiseless summer void of a natural and righteous symphony I had my first Island thunder storm. It came on swiftly and with one goal in mind: to be heard and seen. I was wrapped up in a blanket on the couch one evening sitting by the window journaling when a gust of wind rushed up the street. A chilling quiet followed the temperature plummeted 8 degrees and the sweet smell of rain surrounded all my senses. At first it sounded like crickets clapping, and then a stern mother shushing her rowdy children and then the skies opened and thick curtains of rain swiftly fell upon Charlottetown. Thunder rumbled and cracked through the air like a drummer in the ecstasy of a drum solo. Lightning illuminated the sky with blinding brightness outlining the eerie shape of the storm clouds. For ten glorious minutes a symphony of sound, smell, and sight performed before me. I looked out at the raw unmatchable force and tingled with delight. I love thunderstorms! But just as quickly as it came upon me it just as quickly blew out and vanished. After the music was over a vibrant chorus of colour filled the sky. The sun began to set and the clouds turned to nocturnal purples, sleepy pinks, and dream like yellows. Ribbons of heavy blue weaved around the sky calming the calamity that still hung in the air. Before I could race down to the harbour to take advantage of this photo opportunity the sun fell swiftly to the west and was laid to rest.
On Friday I had some very silly visitors surprise me at the chocolate factory. I was partially tucked in the back corner of the shop with my back turned to the huge store windows, tediously labeling and stamping the dates on truffle boxes, when I felt someone watching me. I turned and saw a pair of goofy friends waving frantically at me wearing party hats and bouncing balloons! Andrew and Debra had come to bring a little early birthday cheer! I rushed out to the store front and greeted them with giggles. We hugged and laughed and briefly chatted about my line of work, and then they took advantage of my stylish work uniform and we snapped some pictures of the three of us whackos! It was so sweet of them to drop in like that. The following day I met them in Victoria Park and we strolled for a while shooting the breeze as good friends do, when suddenly roaring up behind us was a caravan of cars all decked out with wedding flowers and bells. A wedding party rolled past us honking and shouting announcing their recent union. Conveniently they stopped right in front of us, got out and began taking pictures down by the water. Andrew, Debra, and I shamelessly climbed up to the lookout by the canons and stared down at the wedding party smiling at their funny poses, and admiring the dresses and colours.
At 6:00am on Sunday July 22nd I bounced out of bed tingling with anticipation for this special day. My birthday! The celebrations began with a pancake breakfast I cooked for my church. It was a riot! With the help of my wonderful friends Natalie and Lindsay we flipped over a 100 pancakes. We made blueberry, banana, chocolate chip, and plain. We sliced strawberries, whipped cream and softened butter. The doors opened at 9:15 and a flood of hungry and happy people graced our presence for some pancakes. Yummy!! It was a hoot to see everyone’s smiling faces as they gobbled down as many pancakes as their bellies would allow. The chatter alone made my insides jump up and down. I felt so blessed to be able to make the church family I love pancakes on my birthday. I highly suggest doing such a thing at some point in your life, it is better than any birthday gift you could ever receive. In turn my church returned the blessing and sang Happy Birthday to me before the worship service, I felt like a queen.
As I was packing my roommates car with my kitchen and pancake gadgets after church she called me and told me to look in the trunk. I opened the trunk and out popped four balloons! How fun! They were blue and green and one was particularly shiny and they all had butterflies on them. Butterflies are my favourite insect. I was so giddy I couldn’t stop smiling. As I drove home I let them hang out the trunk and bounce in the breeze letting all of Charlottetown know it was my birthday and no body was going to rain on my parade!
After lunch I settled down for a very special Skype date with my family. They had all gathered at my sister Yolanda’s house and with the help of technology we celebrated together. They had cheese cake in Ontario and I had myself a cheese cake the night before so I had cheesecake as well. They sang Happy Birthday and my nephew Landon was dubbed the honour to blow out my candle for me. The one thing that I love about my family is all the silly, outrageous, and random phrases that come out of their mouths. When I told them I was going to the beach later they all gave me different pieces of advice for swimming in the ocean. All of their advice was so wise I feel it my duty to share it with you:
Mom: “Don’t swim alone! Watch out for the tide and sharks.”
Dad: “Swim with a buddy and don’t get eaten by shark.”
Peter, my brother-in-law: “Swim with a boy.”
Chad, my brother: “Swim naked!”
I am so blessed to have such a knowledgeable and concerned family, it’s like the very wisdom of Solomon as touched them. Haa haa!
While at the beach I did in fact go swimming. I didn’t go swimming with any boys and because there were children around I opted to keep my swim suit on, there were no threat of sharks but I had a close call with a jelly fish. It still blows my mind that when I go to the beach I am in the Atlantic Ocean. When I went to the beach back home it was Lake Huron. The water was divine! It wasn’t as cold as the last time I went swimming so I was able to jump right in and splash around. I love the way the water carried me, waltzing me through the tides. I floated on my back and gazed out into the deep horizon and thought of all the wonderful and magical creatures there were swimming beneath me. The ocean is a mysterious place, we could discover every inch of it and learn all its secrets and still it will change and stir up uncharted waters and riddles. I take great comfort knowing that we will never learn all secrets of the world.
As the sun set on the North Shore I stood at the edge of the water and breathed in every crimson, golden, and copper ray of brilliance. With every hush of the waves crawling up the sand to touch my feet I drank in the dense and refreshing chill of the water. I love the ocean.
As I reflect on this day I shake my head at what God has done for me. He blessed me with an amazing church, a hilarious and deep hearted family, the most beautiful breath of beach and the most radiant painted sky. This has been one of the best birthdays I have had, and I got to spend it on Prince Edward Island! Thank you Jesus for a fabulous birthday.